Everyone wants to do what matters but we’re afraid to define it. After all, when you define what matters it’s unsurprising. Think love, relationships, satisfaction, health, and making a difference (mission).
Suppose you want to save the planet. That seems dramatic, right? But fulfilling a great mission distills into unimpressive daily behaviors.
Occasionally you do something sensational, but daily actions are unspectacular, even when you’re saving the planet.
Do what matters – Why you care:
Time is a burden when you do what doesn’t matter.
- Unfocused talent is misspent.
- Distraction dilutes life.
- Busyness obscures significance.
How to do what matters today:
You don’t find purpose at work. You give purpose to work.
#1. Clarify your mission.
Mission infuses mundane behaviors with meaning.
You do what matters today when actions reflect mission. Create and focus on mission.
Long-term goals that express mission establish direction and define success. Short-term goals impact daily behaviors.
#2. Use the Eisenhour Matrix:
“What is important is seldom urgent and what is urgent is seldom important.” (Attributed to Dwight Eisenhower)
Divide tasks into four categories.
- Urgent and important (tasks that express mission with deadlines or consequences).
- Important, but not urgent (tasks that contribute to long-term success – schedule for later).
- Urgent, but not important (tasks to delegate).
- Neither urgent nor important (tasks to eliminate).
“Being busy is a form of laziness – lazy thinking and indiscriminate action.” Tim Ferriss
Things that feel urgent are seldom important:
- Responding immediately to most emails.
- Immediately answering most phone calls.
- Addressing most interruptions immediately.
#3. Choose effectiveness:
Doing the right thing poorly is better than doing the wrong thing efficiently.
Choose effective over efficient. Work on efficiency only after you are effective.
- Embrace a ‘you can’t have it all’ approach.
- Always clarify the win before you act.
How can leaders do what matters today?